Be prepared with an emergency kit
You never know when inclement weather such as a hurricane, flooding or severe storms could create an emergency situation for your organization. So, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit on hand in case you and your people find yourselves stuck in your building for an unknown amount of time.
The following is a list of items you should consider placing in your emergency kit:
- Bottled water – You should have one gallon per person per day. Because you may not know how many people will be sheltering in your building, it’s a good idea to have a large supply of water available.
- Non-perishable food – Don’t forget a can opener if your supply includes cans that don’t have a pull tab.
- Flashlights with extra batteries – Again, if you don’t know how many people would be in your building in an emergency, it is best to keep a collection of flashlights.
- First-aid supplies and personal protective equipment – This includes bandages, disinfectant ointment and wipes, items that could be used to create a tourniquet, masks and gloves.
- Whistle – Because you don’t know what kind of emergency situation you may face, you also don’t know whether you will have a means to communicate with others outside your building. A whistle can help you attract attention quickly.
- Tissues, toilet paper, personal hygiene items and bags with ties for sanitary situations.
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries – This may be your only means of receiving communication from authorities.
- Documents that contain emergency contact information – You will want to be able to communicate with authorities, as well as others in your organization who may not be on-site. Do not rely on contact lists in cell phones, because you may not have power to keep your phones charged.
- Cards, games, pens and paper – While these items are not a matter of life and death, they are important to keep the people in your building occupied while they wait for rescue. Mental health is just as important as physical health.
- Sleeping bags or warm blankets – You should have a sufficient number of sleeping supplies so you can accommodate everyone who may be in your building.
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities – Depending on the situation (for example, when there is flooding), you may need to turn off the utilities. Include tools in your emergency kit to make this easier.
Feel free to add items to your emergency kit as you think of them. You should also check the kit on a regular basis to make sure foods haven’t expired and the radio and other items are still in good working order.
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